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Abstract: This Policy Brief examines the real and imagined influence of al-Qa‘ida in North Africa and the Sahel. Despite a perception of the transnationalization of terrorist movements in North Africa under al-Qa‘ida’s banner, robust evidence of an effective al-Qa‘ida’s expansion in the Maghreb and the Sahara/Sahel region remains elusive at best. Rather, doubts about al-Qa‘ida’s actual threat and the efficacy of international response in the context of pervasive state failure in the Sahel raise questions regarding the policy objectives of US-led counter-terrorism in the region.
Abstract: Multiple threats to Libya's stability and public order could emerge if the Qaddafi regime falls. Scenarios range from Qaddafi loyalist forces launching a violent resistance to internecine warfare breaking out among the rebel factions. This instability in Libya could lead to a humanitarian disaster, the emergence of a new authoritarian ruler, or even the country’s dissolution. Given these potential consequences, Daniel Serwer recommends in this Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum that the European Union lead a post-Qaddafi stabilization force in Libya. The force preferably should fall under the United Nations umbrella with modest participation from the African Union and Arab League. The United States should support the stabilization effort with the aim of helping to establish a united and sovereign Libya with inclusive democratic institutions.
Abstract: In February the conflict was sparked by anti-Government protests which drew a Government of Libya response. Since then, the
conflict has moved back and forth across Libya. The humanitarian and protection situation remains of utmost concern to the
humanitarian community. Over 686,422 migrants have fled the violence, including 261,118 third-country nationals. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans are internally displaced. At least 40,000 are refugees in neighbouring
Tunisia. Humanitarian partners have provided over 5,180 metric tons of aid including food, medical supplies, shelter
and non-food items. Over 12,800 people have been evacuated from Misrata so far. The humanitarian community is in
contact with all parties to carry out assistance. By far the greatest impact has been wrought on Misrata, a city of 300,000
people, which has seen the bloodiest fighting with thousands of casualties. Precise numbers of civilians killed or injured are unknown.
Abstract: The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations.
Abstract: This policy brief focuses on a case study. It is suggested that an environmental disaster during the summer of 2010 in the Black Sea region triggered in winter 2011 a food crisis in the Arab World; in turn, this led to massive riots, revolts, political instability, a NATO operation and, alas, an oil crisis that accentuates an already suffering global economy. Coextensively, it may be suggested that an environmental crisis triggered a political crisis, which escalated in a series of conflicts that are of major concern for traditional security structures in Europe and beyond. In sum, the argument is made that as a result of this experience, the human security agenda must have a direct effect on our traditional security agenda. The question addressed at this point is how these interrelated chains of events affect the security establishment and our notions of a ‘high strategy.’
Abstract: The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has witnessed
unprecedented civil unrest since 16 February
2011. As the security situation deteriorated and
casualties mounted, many countries called on
their citizens to leave the country.
Before the crisis, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
reportedly hosted over 2.5 million migrant workers
from neighbouring countries, as well as Africa and
Asia. Thousands of these workers have fled the
country since the outbreak of violence, and many
governments have requested assistance from the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) to
ensure the safe and timely return home of their
nationals. As of 28 May, over 885,600 persons,
including Libyans, have crossed the Libyan border,
with thousands more waiting to cross the border
or stranded at sea and in airports.
The purpose of this report is to provide a cumulative
overview of the evacuation operations of IOM and
its partners over the past three months through
28 May, supplemented with graphs and photos to
provide more detail. In addition to the macro-level
information, highlights of activities and caseload at
the country level are also presented in subsequent
sections. The report’s final section gives a human
face to the crisis through the personal accounts
of migrants and TCNs who benefited from IOM
Abstract: This is Security Council Report’s fourth Cross-Cutting Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Nine months have passed since our third report came out in late October 2010, but much has happened in the area of protection of civilians during this period. The crisis in Libya and the post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire stand out as two of the most important protection challenges for the Security Council. But there were also continuing protection concerns in other situations such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan. Most recently, the situations in Syria and Yemen have caused growing concern among many Council members.
The present report involves a change to our cycle of reporting. Our previous cross-cutting reports were published every 12 months towards the end of the year. The rationale for changing the cycle flows from the fact that our statistical analysis compares calendar years, so it seemed that an earlier publication date each year would make more sense and be more useful to our readers. Our intention had also been to publish this report in time for the Security Council’s open debate on protection of civilians in May. But unfortunately this became impossible when the date of the debate was moved forward at the last minute. The result of this change in timing is that the present report covers less ground than our previous ones on this issue, although the statistical analysis still covers one full calendar year. In the future, we will be publishing a report every 12 months. Our next cross-cutting report on protection of civilians can therefore be expected in the first half of 2012.
Abstract: Over 759,003 migrants have fled the violence, including 267,940 third-country nationals. In February the conflict was sparked by anti-Government protests which drew a Government of Libya response.
Since then, the conflict has moved back and forth across Libya.The humanitarian and protection situation
remains of utmost concern to the humanitarian community. Over 759,003 migrants have fled the violence,
including 267,940 third-country nationals (TCNs). Hundreds of thousands of Libyans are internally displaced.
At least 40,000 are refugees in neighbouring Tunisia. Humanitarian partners have provided over 5,180 metric
tons of aid including food,
medical supplies, shelter
and non-food items. Over
12,800 people have been
evacuated from Misrata so
far. The humanitarian
community is in contact with
all parties to carry out
assistance. By far the
greatest impact has been
wrought on Misrata, a city
of 300,000 people, which
has seen the bloodiest
fighting with thousands of
numbers of civilians killed
or injured are unknown.
Abstract: On June 2, 2011, Peacebuild, with the financial support of the International Development
Research Centre, convened a day-long discussion on the tumultuous changes taking place in the
Middle East and North Africa.
Objectives for the roundtable were to share up-to-date information on current and longer-term
political issues and dynamics, to assess areas for possible support for democratic transitions in
the region, identify areas of relevant Canadian expertise – diaspora, NGO, academic, business
sector, governmental -- and, based on the discussion, generate a set of policy options and/or
recommendations for people-to-people support, NGOs, academics and the Government of
Participants in Cairo, Ottawa and Montreal were linked into a wide-ranging discussion, which
first focused on hearing activist and expert views from the epicentre of regional change – Egypt.
Among the questions explored with human rights activist Hossam Baghat, strategic analyst
Mustafa El-Labbad, activist author May Telmissany and IDRC regional expert Roula El-Rifai were
the makeup of the reform movements in the region and their objectives, what is the real extent
of political Islam’s influence in the Middle East and what has been the role of the armed forces
in the transitions?
Abstract: On the initiative of the Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement (CF2R) and of the Centre international de recherche et d’études sur le terrorisme et d’aide aux victimes du terrorisme (CIRET-AVT), a delegation of international experts went to Tripoli and Tripolitana, and to Benghazi and Cyrenaica, in order to assess independently the Libyan conflict and to to meet representatives of both sides. This is the final report.
Abstract: The Obama administration prepared this report for Congress regarding the U.S.' military activity in Libya. In response to complaints from members of Congress that Obama needed Congressional authorization to engage militarily in Libya, the report states that, "Given the important U.S. interests served by U.S. military operations in Libya and the limited nature, scope and duration of the anticipated actions, the President had constitutional authority, as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive and pursuant to his foreign affairs powers, to direct such limited military operations abroad. The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision."
Abstract: The conflict in Libya is complex, and it is often hard to find the data that best describe key aspects of the war. Varun Vira of the Burke Chair has developed a background analysis of the war. The analysis draws upon official NATO reporting and open-source analysis, tracks the conduct of the fighting, and identifies some trends that will be crucial to plan for in shaping a post-war Libya. It also warns that planning for the post-Qaddafi period has been inadequate, and that any end – however, prolonged – could come very quickly. Whether this will take days or months remains unclear, but some form of change is imminent in Libya, and will require careful accommodation.
A successful transition will necessarily require international assistance, but for true sustainable success, post-war planning must be Libyan-led and heavily involve the participation of regional countries. Many challenges will persist, but it is important to remember that war, and particularly revolutions, transform society in ways that are not easily foreseen, and the dynamics of the Libyan uprising offer good reasons to be optimistic for Libya’s future.
Abstract: North Africa is bracing itself. Not since Algeria’s brutal civil war a generation ago has the region witnessed so much turmoil and uncertainty. Angry and frustrated masses demanding improved governance and greater socioeconomic opportunities present regimes with new challenges. The need for governments to address these grievances is urgent. Failure to respond will intensify public pressure and heighten the risk of more violence.
Abstract: This is a transcript of an event on Libya held at Chatham House on 8 June 2011. The panel discussed the challenges and prospects facing the Libyan regime, the opposition and the international community.
Abstract: The character of the Libyan crisis today arises from the complex but so far evidently indecisive impact of the UN-authorised military intervention, now formally led by NATO, in what had already become a civil war. NATO’s intervention saved the anti-Qaddafi side from immediate defeat but has not yet resolved the conflict in its favour. Although the declared rationale of this intervention was to protect civilians, civilians are figuring in large numbers as victims of the war, both as casualties and refugees, while the leading Western governments supporting NATO’s campaign make no secret of the fact that their goal is regime change. The country is de facto being partitioned, as divisions between the predominantly opposition-held east and the predominantly regime-controlled west harden into distinct political, social and economic spheres. As a result, it is virtually impossible for the pro-democracy current of urban public opinion in most of western Libya (and Tripoli in particular) to express itself and weigh in the political balance.
At the same time, the prolonged military campaign and attendant instability present strategic threats to Libya’s neighbours. Besides fuelling a large-scale refugee crisis, they are raising the risk of infiltration by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, whose networks of activists are present in Algeria, Mali and Niger. All this, together with mounting bitterness on both sides, will constitute a heavy legacy for any post-Qaddafi government.
The present conflict clearly represents the death agony of the Jamahiriya. Whether what comes after it fulfils Libyans’ hopes for freedom and legitimate government very much depends on how and when Qaddafi goes. This in turn depends on how – and how soon – the armed conflict gives way to political negotiation allowing Libya’s political actors, including Libyan public opinion as a whole, to address the crucial questions involved in defining the constitutive principles of a post-Jamahiriya state and agreeing on the modalities and interim institutions of the transition phase. Instead of stubbornly maintaining the present policy and running the risk that its consequence will be dangerous chaos, the international community should act now to facilitate a negotiated end to the civil war and a new beginning for Libya’s political life.
Abstract: Over 40 years ago, Muammar al Qadhafi led a revolt against the Libyan monarchy in the name of nationalism, self-determination, and popular sovereignty. Opposition groups citing the same principles are now revolting against Qadhafi to bring an end to the authoritarian political system he has controlled in Libya for the last four decades.
The Libyan government's use of force against civilians and opposition forces seeking Qadhafi's overthrow sparked an international outcry and led the United Nations Security Council to adopt Resolution 1973, which authorizes "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians. The United States military is participating in Operation Unified Protector, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military operation to enforce the resolution. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other partner governments also are participating. Qadhafi and his supporters have described the uprising as a foreign and Islamist conspiracy and are attempting to outlast their opponents. Qadhafi remains defiant amid continuing coalition air strikes, and his forces continue to attack opposition-held areas. Some opposition figures have formed an Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC), which claims to represent all areas of the country. They seek foreign political recognition and material support. Resolution 1973 calls for an immediate cease-fire and dialogue, declares a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace, and authorizes robust enforcement measures for the arms embargo on Libya established by Resolution 1970 of February 26.
As of April 21, U.S. military officials reported that U.S. and coalition strikes on Libyan air defenses, air forces, and ground forces had neutralized the ability of Muammar al Qadhafi's military to control the country's airspace. Coalition forces target pro-Qadhafi ground forces found to be violating Resolution 1973 through attacks that threaten civilians. President Obama has said the United States will not introduce ground forces, and Resolution 1973 forbids "a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory."
Some Members of Congress expressed support for U.S. military intervention prior to the adoption of Resolution 1973, while others disagreed or called for the President to seek explicit congressional authorization prior to any use of force.
Many observers believe that Libya's weak government institutions, potentially divisive political dynamics, and current conflict suggest that security challenges could follow the current uprising, regardless of its outcome. In evaluating U.S. policy options, Congress may seek to better understand the roots and nature of the conflict in Libya, the views and interests of key players, and the potential consequences of military operations and other proposals under consideration.
Abstract: Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-15/1 of 25 February 2011, entitled
“Situation of human rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”, the President of the Human
Rights Council established the international commission of inquiry, and appointed M.
Cherif Bassiouni as the Chairperson of the commission, and Asma Khader and Philippe
Kirsch as the two other members.
In paragraph 11 of resolution S-15/1, the Human Rights Council requested the
commission to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in the
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of
the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible, to make
recommendations, in particular, on accountability measures, all with a view to ensuring that
those individuals responsible are held accountable.
The commission decided to consider actions by all parties that might have
constituted human rights violations throughout the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. It also
considered violations committed before, during and after the demonstrations witnessed in a
number of cities in the country in February 2011. In the light of the armed conflict that
developed in late February 2011 in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and continued during the
commission’s operations, the commission looked into both violations of international
human rights law and relevant provisions of international humanitarian law, the lex
specialis that applies during armed conflict.1 Furthermore, following the referral of the
events in the Libyan Arab Jamahirya by the Security Council to the International Criminal
Court, the commission also considered events in the light of international criminal law.
Abstract: Scores of people have vanished from Libya’s Nafusa Mountain area apparently at the hands of forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi, Amnesty International said today as it released a new report into deteriorating conditions in the western region of the country
Libya: Disappearances in the besieged Nafusa Mountain as thousands seek safety in Tunisia details a number of cases of people who have disappeared and are believed to have been taken Tripoli from Nafusa Mountain, which has been under siege and fire from pro-Gaddafi forces since early March 2011.
“It is outrageous that the families of these men have absolutely no idea what has happened to them,” said Amnesty International.
“Given what we know about the treatment of prisoners by the Tripoli authorities, there is every reason to fear for their safety and wellbeing.”
Nafusa residents believe that soldiers have targeted people they believed were involved in protests, supported of the opposition, or were organizing supplies to the besieged region.
Family members told Amnesty International of relatives who were detained by al-Gaddafi forces when they went to buy basic necessities. Some have subsequently appeared on Libyan state television “confessing” to being pressured to act against the country’s best interests, but most have simply vanished.
Abstract: Foreign fighters fuel the world’s conflicts. They
make conflicts more costly for host nations and
peacekeepers. These extremists come from all over
the world and believe they need to fight for their
ideological survival. The best way to combat the
use of foreign fighters is to stop them as close to the
source as possible. This can be difficult, especially if
the U.S. is lacking diplomatic, informational, military,
and economic relations with the source country.
The U.S. government, especially military and
political agencies, needs to be aware of the foreign
fighter phenomenon and plan for it when developing
new contingency and campaign plans as well as
further developing bilateral and regional relationships
in foreign fighter source and transit countries.
This paper will discuss and highlight, from the
national security perspective, the potential military
actions for interdicting foreign fighters. The foreign
fighter problem set, terminology, and life cycle are
defined and discussed. Foreign fighters in current
conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan/Pakistan, and Somalia
are discussed as well. Finally, potential solutions
are introduced as well as actions the U.S. military
can take to stem the flow of foreign fighters within
stability operations framework.
Abstract: Today, we, the Foreign Ministers of the Allies and operational partners participating in NATO-led Operation Unified Protector (OUP) in support of the enforcement of UNSC Resolution 1973, met in Berlin to discuss the situation in Libya and our joint efforts in support of broader international community objectives with regard to Libya. The valuable contributions made by OUP partners demonstrate broad-based support for this operation. NATO will continue to coordinate its actions in close consultation with the United Nations, other regional actors and international organizations.
We deplore the continuing violence and atrocities in Libya perpetrated by the regime against its own people, which have resulted in a very serious humanitarian situation, particularly in cities under siege. We underline the need for the regime to restore water, gas, electricity and other services to areas that have been brutalized by regime forces and to permit full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all the people of Libya in need of assistance. Qadhafi and his regime have lost all legitimacy through their comprehensive and repeated refusal to abide by UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973.
Abstract: The looming stalemate in the Libyan conflict is likely
to lead to more civilian casualties, a de facto
separation of Libya, the under-use of the country’s
energy resources, and an increase in illegal activities
due to the legal and governance vacuum in the
country. In addition, it risks denting NATO’s credibility
as a security provider. To break the stalemate, the
coalition is leaning towards intensifying military
operations and/or arming the rebels. Both imply a
number of risks and political costs. A way to contain
such risks and costs would be for NATO and its
partners to re-calibrate the mission so that, alongside
military action, the mission would foresee also a
national reconciliation process, mediated by an
international team. Linking military operations to a
credible plan for Libya’s political future would
improve the odds for Gheddafi’s regime to collapse.
Abstract: The longer Libya’s military conflict persists, the more it risks jeopardising or undermining the anti-Qaddafi camp’s avowed objectives. Civilians are figuring in large numbers as victims, both as casualties and refugees. The country is de facto being partitioned, as divisions between the predominantly opposition-held east and the predominantly regime-controlled west harden into distinct political, social and economic worlds.
As a result, it is virtually impossible for the pro-democracy current of urban public opinion in most of western Libya (and Tripoli in particular) to express itself and weigh in the political balance. All this, together with mounting bitterness on both sides, will constitute a heavy legacy for any post-Qaddafi government.
The prolonged military campaign and attendant instability likewise present strategic threats to Libya’s neighbours. Besides fuelling a large-scale refugee crisis, they are raising the risk of infiltration by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, whose networks of activists are present in Algeria, Mali and Niger. To insist on Qaddafi’s departure as a precondition for any political initiative is to prolong the military conflict and deepen the crisis. Instead, the priority should be to secure an immediate ceasefire and negotiations on a transition to a post-Qaddafi political order.